ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area doctors say during the wave of the more contagious omicron variant pregnant women are more likely to be COVID positive.  

It happens when they come to the hospital to deliver more than when they were faced with the Delta variant.   

SSM Health DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton reports seeing a dramatic increase in the number of pregnant women infected by the omicron variant of the coronavirus. 

“Previously during covid, we had seen two to four patients per month that were positive and now we’re seeing at least eight to 10 patients a week that are coming through our triage let alone on or labor and delivery floors,” said Dr. Erica Melrose, obstetrics and gynecology specialist at SSM Health DePaul Hospital. 

Although vaccination rates in pregnant women have risen somewhat in recent months they continue to lag behind the general population. The CDC reports just 41 percent of pregnant women are fully vaccinated. 

“It is safe it has proven to be safe both for mother and child the antibodies actually will cross the placenta and help protect the baby and give the baby some immunity after delivery,” Melrose said. 

Symptoms of COVID include cough, low-grade fever, sore throat, and women are saying that overall, they just don’t feel well.

“We tell them to monitor their oxygen levels at home and we can actually prescribe a pulse oximeter to use to put on their finger to make sure that their pulse oximetry is above 95,” Melrose said. 

Dr. Melrose said if women suspect they have COVID or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID to call their doctor, and get tested and get vaccinated.